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Monday, April 23, 2018

Learn How to Repurpose Buildings for Arts and Culture at Northern NJ Community Foundation's Connect the Dots

Russell_C._Major_Liberty_School,_Englewood,_New_Jersey redu

What can a community do with an underused building? Find out at the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) ArtsBergen's Connect the Dots event, Repurposing Buildings for Arts and Culture, on Thursday, May 17. The informative networking event takes place at Art Center of Northern New Jersey, 250 Center Street in New Milford, New Jersey from 6:00 8:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Good-will donations are welcome.

Connect with artists, municipal and community leaders, historians and business owners living or working in Bergen County and meet others with similar interests. An interactive question and answer will follow a panel discussion to identify ways to make the county a more vibrant destination through adaptive reuse for arts- and cultural-based community development.

A seasoned panel will share insights about completed projects in the region and potential sites and opportunities in Bergen County. The featured speakers on the panel are: Cynthia Forster, director, Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs; Bill Kraus, Principal, C.W. Kraus Preservation & Development; and Michael Shannon, President, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation. They will discuss the steps involved in repurposing a building from concept development to financing; cultivating buy-in from the community, artists, politicians and commercial stakeholders; and defining the role and involvement of artists.

headerArt Center of Northern New Jersey, an example of repurposing a building for the arts, is a fine arts school and gallery offering arts classes to the general public. Founded in 1956, the organization found its current in home in 1984 by repurposing the Lutheran Church-St. Matthews.

“Underutilized, vacant, or historic properties are often diamonds in the rough that can be a community’s unseen assets. The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's ArtsBergen promotes creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a region, city or neighborhood. Part of the work of creative placemaking is envisioning the potential these buildings have to strengthen and enrich community life, when activated with arts- and culture-based purposes," said Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.


Space is limited. Pre-registration is required and may be done online at or contact

For further information about the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation or ArtsBergen, contact or call 201-568-5608.

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses primarily on civic engagement, education, public health, and the arts.  NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life. The Foundation's partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other, by sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.

For more information, visit, send an email to, or call (201) 568-5608. Follow the NNJCF on Facebook at Northern NJ Community Foundation/ArtsBergen and Twitter @NNJCF.

About ArtsBergen

ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an emerging arts alliance in Bergen County, New Jersey that supports and encourages creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy. The initiative's mission is to energize and unify artists and arts organizations and connect the Bergen County community to the arts. For more information, visit, send an email to, or call 201-568-5608.

NJSO to present screenings of the iconic films with Oscar-winning composer John Williams’ scores performed live

star wars

Tickets for Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back in concert with the NJSO on sale May 4

NJSO to present screenings of the iconic films with Oscar-winning composer John Williams’ scores performed live

Tickets for Mary Poppins in concert also on sale May 4

NJSO performs movies in Red Bank, Newark and New Brunswick

Star Wars: A New Hope – Nov 23–25, 2018

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – Jan 4–6, 2019

Mary Poppins in Concert – Apr 12–14, 2019

In celebration of Star Wars Day, single tickets for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s performances of the first two films in the Star Wars: Film Concert Series go on sale on Friday, May 4, at 10 am. The NJSO presents screenings of the complete films Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back with Oscar-winning composer John Williams’ musical scores performed live in November 2018 and January 2019, respectively.

Tickets for Mary Poppins in Concert—the third film in the NJSO’s 2018–19 Pops Movie Series—also go on sale May 4. The classic Disney film won multiple Academy Awards.

Fans will be able to experience the scope and grandeur of these beloved films in a live symphonic concert experience at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick.

Since the release of the first Star Wars movie nearly 40 years ago, the Star Wars saga has had a seismic impact on both cinema and culture, inspiring audiences around the world with its mythic storytelling, captivating characters, groundbreaking special effects and iconic musical scores composed by Williams.

The NJSO performs A New Hope on Friday, November 23, at 8 pm at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank; Saturday, November 24, at 8 pm at NJPAC in Newark; and Sunday, November 25, at 3 pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick.

The Orchestra performs The Empire Strikes Back on Friday, January 4, at 8 pm at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank; Saturday, January 5, at 8 pm at NJPAC in Newark; and Sunday, January 6, at 3 pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick.

Mary Poppins in Concert is a family-friendly, symphonic cinema event featuring the five-time Oscar award winning Disney film unfolding on the big screen with a live symphony orchestra performing the Sherman Brothers’ charming and delightful musical score. The Sherman Brothers won Academy Awards for Best Original Song (for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”) and Best Original Musical Score.

Performances of Mary Poppins take place on Friday, April 12, at 8 pm at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank; Saturday, April 13, at 8 pm at NJPAC in Newark; and Sunday, April 14, at 3 pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick.

State Theatre New Jersey co-presents the November 25, January 6 and April 14 performances.

For more information, visit


Legendary composer Williams is well known for scoring all eight of the Star Wars saga films, beginning with 1977’s Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope), for which he earned an Academy Award for Best Original Score. His scores for Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens each were nominated for Oscars for Best Original Score. Return of the Jedi was released on December 15, 2017.

Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards and 22 Grammy Awards. With 50 Academy Award nominations, Williams is the Academy’s most nominated living person and the second most-nominated individual in history, after Walt Disney. In 2005, the American Film Institute selected Williams' score to 1977’s Star Wars as the greatest American film score of all time. The soundtrack to Star Wars also was preserved by the Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Williams was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl’s Hall of Fame in 2000, and he received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004, the National Medal of Arts in 2009 and the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2016. Williams has composed the scores for eight of the top 20 highest-grossing films at the US box office (adjusted for inflation).


Single tickets start at $20 and will be available from the NJSO online at, by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or in person. The NJSO Patron Services office is located at 60 Park Place, 9th floor, in Newark; hours are Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm, and concert Saturdays, 11 am–5 pm.

Tickets for the November 25, January 6 and April 14 performances will also be available from State Theatre New Jersey online at, by phone at 732.246.SHOW (7469) or in person. The State Theatre New Jersey Guest Services office is located at 15 Livingston Ave in New Brunswick. Hours are Monday—Friday, 10 am–6 pm, and at least three hours prior to curtain on performance dates unless otherwise specified.



Fri, Nov 23, at 8 pm | Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank

Sat, Nov 24, at 8 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Sun, Nov 25, at 3 pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Light Opera of NJ’s SHOWTIME! Benefit Concert

May 5, 2018

featuring our Star-Studded SHOWTIME!  Concert

Delicious Food and Wine   Dessert Reception   Entertainment   Silent Auction     Wine Pull   

Visit for complete details and reservations

Deadline for reservations has been extended to April 30th online only! 


You don't want to miss the opportunity to see and hear reprises of our Hit Shows, featuring the original artists!

Ken Magos

Julie Galorenzo

Suzanne Karpov

Cameron Smith

David Murray

Chelsea Friedlander

Barbara Haag

Will Carey

featuring Sweeney Todd's award winning Director, Jeffrey Fiorello

Lois Buesser

Stephen Fox

*Benefactor seats include full dinner, Concert and Dessert Reception for $150.00

*Patron seats include Concert and Dessert Reception for $75.00

For special seating requests and additional information please contact Elaine Gennaro at 908-337-0135.

Hosted by

Light Opera of New Jersey Board of Trustees


David Clark and Tawnya Kabnick

William and Lauran Corson

Steven Fulda and May Furstner

Michael and Elaine Gennaro

Shari Loe and David T. Matsushima

Heath and Rebecca Weisberg

LONJ Production Board

*All Guests must be at least 21 years of age.

Saturday, April 21, 2018




Flash Sale! Today only!

NJFO Season Finale Special offer:


Must purchase tickets TODAY Saturday April 21st.

Use promo code EARLY at check out.

Join us for our Season Finale celebration

Saturday, May 19 at 7pm | Sunday, May20 at 3pm

Westfield .............................Madison, NJ

Tickets $76 | $60 | $48 | $28 | $20 Students | $15 U18


NJFO Season Finale Special offer*:


Must purchase tickets TODAY Saturday April 21st.

Use promo code EARLY at check out.

*Must purchase ONLINE.

All sales final - no refunds or exchanges. Adult tickets only.

Cannot be applied to previous purchases.


Don't forget to use promo code EARLY at check out!

Visit our website

NEW JERSEY FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA | 224 East Broad St, Westfield, NJ 07090


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Reviewed By Ruth Ross (

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on the Lorraine Motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee, the morning after he delivered his “I Have Been to the Mountaintop” speech in support of the city’s sanitary workers. Although we don’t know how he spent those hours preceding the rally in his motel room, playwright Craig Alan Edwards imagines him mulling over his life; his personal relationships with his father, wife and colleagues; his successes and failures; his anxieties; and the future of the nonviolent movement to secure civil rights for blacks and poor people of every race and creed.

The result is The Man in Room 306, written by Edwards 23 years ago, workshopped at Luna Stage in 1995 and produced in 2008, starring Edwards and directed by Cheryl Katz, which is where I first reviewed the play. In the half century (!) since Dr. King’s death, one might have hoped that his goals had been reached; sadly, just looking around us, it’s all too plain that while some have been achieved, we still have work to do.

To commemorate this milestone anniversary, Luna has revived The Man in Room 306 but with a new actor and director. Once again, this tour de force production reveals a more human side to the great civil rights leader that few people know or remember, in an absorbing, extraordinary piece of theater and art—rendered even more relevant with the rise of the alt-right and prevalence of hate speech on social media.

Scenic designers Christopher and Justin Swader have replicated King’s actual motel room to evoke the venue where he spent his last hours. A half-eaten meal, an unfinished game of solitaire and papers strewn about suggest the life of a real human being soon to be interrupted. A video projected on the room’s back wall and depicting the preceding march adds immediacy to what we know lies ahead. Andy Evan Cohen’s sound design includes pigeons cooing, wings flapping and gun shots “heard” by King in a recurring nightmare, along with the prescient sounding thunder of an impending storm. And to convey the passage of time, Devon Cameron deepens the light coming through the motel windows, adding to the ominous atmosphere.

Image result for luna stageDirector Jerome Preston Bates keeps the action tight and focused, but it’s Jamil A.C. Mangan who carries the performance on his broad shoulders—always front and center—and speaking nonstop in the dulcet Southern vocal intonation that morphs smoothly into King’s more familiar preacher declamation style. Addressing the audience directly, he gives voice to his anxieties and dreams, and recalls important people in his past, even adopting their voices as they “speak” to him. His grandmother, Mama, who instilled a love of vocabulary in her precocious grandson; his overbearing and opinionated preacher father, who had his son’s life mapped out for him yet admonished him to “play it safe”; and his lively, sometimes neglected, wife Coretta who worried that his only suit might disintegrate from constant wearing! Edwards and Mangan reveal a man who would rather read the newspaper sports section than write a speech for the next day’s march, a man who dreams of being a major league baseball pitcher, a man who delights in playing practical jokes and having them played on him. And Mangan is masterful in the long, opening telephone conversation with an unknown caller; his delivery is natural, convincing and paced just like a natural conversation.

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Mangan’s King is anguished by the death of a 16-year-old boy killed in the Memphis march after he left the demonstration; by the memories of the four little girls killed in the Birmingham church bombing; and by the Mississippi children so poor that all they ate for lunch was a quarter of an apple and some crackers given to them by their teacher. Yet this King is not without humor; witness his recreation of meeting Coretta in Boston and snowing her with his oozing charm or his admission that he once wanted to become an opera singer! In a stirring scene that has him on his knees, weeping and singing a hymn to God, seeking forgiveness and, ironically, asking the Lord to “take him home”—presumably to Heaven, Mangan ably conveys King’s struggle with his personal doubts and limitations.

Luna Stage Presents 'Man In Room 306' In Honor Of MLK

And finally, Mangan’s delivery of King’s speech to the rally of sanitation workers is prophetic and sad, communicating the power of the words so beautifully that one weeps for what might have been if King had not been murdered.

The best thing about Craig Edwards’ script and Jamil Mangan’s splendid performance is that an iconic figure is humanized, reminding us that many of our idols have feet of clay, whether they be our preachers, our politicians or our parents, and that forgiveness of missteps is important if we are to move forward to the Promised Land, whatever that is for us, individually or collectively.

The play’s title says it all: The Man in Room 306 is the story of a man, not a symbol. As such, this production, appropriate for an audience including both teenagers (who might not know much about Martin Luther King, Jr., other than what they’ve read in history textbooks) and those old enough to remember seeing him on television or, perhaps, marching with him in Washington, D.C., deserves to be seen. You’ll be sorry if you miss it.

The Man in Room 306 will be performed Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. at Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange through May 13. The theater is wheelchair accessible and has an interesting Context Room for background information about Dr. King and the production. For information and tickets, call the box office at 973.395.5555 or visit online.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Centenary University NextStage Repertory to present 'Lucky Stiff'

Centenary University NextStage Repertory presents Lucky Stiff April 27 through May 6 in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. The Tony Award-winning writing team, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's, first produced show, Lucky Stiff, premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons.

Based on the novel, The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo by Michael Butterworth, Lucky Stiff is an offbeat, hilarious murder mystery farce, complete with mistaken identities, six million bucks in diamonds and a corpse in a wheelchair. The story revolves around an unassuming English shoe salesman who is forced to take the embalmed body of his recently murdered uncle on a vacation to Monte Carlo. Should he succeed in passing his uncle off as alive, Harry Witherspoon stands to inherit $6,000,000. If not, the money goes to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn... or else his uncle's gun-toting ex!

The production is directed by CSC Artistic Director & Centenary University Chairman of the Fine Arts Department, Carl Wallnau with choreography by Assistant Professor of Theater/Dance and director of CSC’s Young Audience Series, Lea Antolini-Lid.  Wallnau has directed numerous productions including the world premieres of Inventing Montana, The Tillie Project and The Poetry of Pizza, as well as, the American premiere of A Laughing Matter and the New Jersey premieres of Below the Belt, Square One, Rounding Third, and Marvin’s Room. 

Antolini-Lid’s performance credits include most recently, The Learned Ladies, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins & A Christmas Carol all at Centenary Stage Company.  Other performance credits include, Floyd Collins and States of Independence at American Musical Theatre Works, The Importance of being Ernest at the New Repertory Theatre in Mass, and many recent productions at The Growing Stage Theatre Co, where she also choreographs and teaches. 

Performances will be held in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center on Friday, April 27 at 3:30pm & 8:00pm and Friday, May 4 at 8:00pm; Saturdays, April 28 and May 5 at 8:00pm; Sundays, April 29 and May 6 at 2:00pm and Thursday, May 3 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for children under 12.

Lucky Stiff will be performed by NEXTstage Repertory, Centenary University Theater Department’s student based Performance Company under the auspices of the Centenary Stage Company.  NEXTstage Repertory provides students with the opportunity to perform along-side the production standard of a fully operational professional regional theater.  The Centenary University Theater Department has been in existence for 17 years and has continued to grow and expand, now boasting a musical theater concentration.  Students are able to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre with concentrations in Costume Design, Dance, Performance Studies, Production Management, Technical Theater and Musical Theater.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call the CSC box office at (908) 979 – 0900.  The box office is located in the Lackland Center; 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.  Box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5 pm and two hours prior to each performance.

The 2017-2018 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

Final Weekend to See Holmdel's 'Much Ado About Nothing'

3 more chances this weekend to catch
William Shakespeare's beloved romantic comedy

Much Ado About Nothing

Directed by Tom Frascatore
April 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28 - 8PM
April 15, 22 - 2PM

Please Join us for a "merry war" between the sexes. William Shakespeare's most beloved romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing boasts one of Shakespeare's most delightful heroines, most dancing wordplay, and the endearing spectacle of intellectual and social self-importance bested by the desire to love and be loved in return.


Beatrice​​​....Tess Ammerman
Benedick​​​....James Weeks*
Leonato​​​....Ed Faver
Hero​​​​....Elizabeth Colagrande
Claudio....​​​Shan Williams
Don Pedro​​​....Andrew James Gordon
Dogberry....​​​Rupert Ravens
Don John​​​....Peter Newes
Friar Francis....​​​Howard Smith
Borachio​​​....Mark Zebro
Margaret​​​....Jessica Freeland
Antonio....​​​Mike Sockol
Conrade​​​....Joseph Walter
Ursula....​​​​Julia Lupi
Messenger/Balthazar​/Watch​....Bella Ashton
Sexton.....Sami DeSocio
Verges.....Laurie Devino
*appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

Students $15, Seniors $20, Adult $25
Please note all online order are subject to a $2.50 Processing fee. 
At door orders are subject to a $1 Facility Fee.

Circle Players' fifth production of 2018/2019 season, “Stupid F*cking Bird”

Circle Players and director Brian Craig are proud to announce the fifth production of our 2018/2019 season, “Stupid F*cking Bird”, by Aaron Posner.

In this irreverent, contemporary, and very funny remix of Chekhov’s The Seagull, Aaron Posner stages a timeless battle between young and old, past and present, in search of the true meaning of it all. This play will tickle, tantalize, and incite you to consider how art, love, and revolution fuel your own pursuit of happiness.
Performances of the play will take place as follows:
·         Fridays: April 27May 11 at 8:00pm
·         Saturdays: April 28, May 5, 12, at 8:00pm
·         Sundays: May 6, 13 at 3:00pm

A talkback will be held following the Sunday, Mat 5 performance.

The play will be directed by Brian Craig of Belmar and produced by Jennifer and JD Robinson of Highland Park.  It will be stage managed by Marijah Sroczynski of Piscataway.

Appearing in the cast are: Noah Stanzione, Thom Boyer, Jessica Musolino, Allison Mitchell, Linda Hatcher, Mike Johnson, and Bob Dumpert.

Audiences are invited to join in a special wine and cheese reception in the theater lobby following the opening night performance.

The theater is located at 416 Victoria Avenue, Piscataway. Please be advised: due to the unique layout of this theater in the round, latecomers cannot be seated after the performance has started. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before curtain.

For reservations, call (732) 968-7555, or buy tickets online at

Tickets are $18 for adults and $17 for students and seniors.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Multiple interns in NYC during summer for Arts Festival


A world-premiere production titled UMBILICAL in the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity seeks multiple interns in NYC during summer of 2018.
The Planet Connections Festivity is New York’s premiere socially-conscious arts festival. Planet Connections’ artists use their work to raise awareness for a self-selected organization/topic. Since its inception in 2008, PC has presented over 200 productions and has supported over 300 charities.
UMBILICAL will be mounted in the 2018 Festival, which will take place in NYC from July 11 to August 5. An experimental piece, UMBILICAL explores an encounter between two strangers and a third performer in a surreal post-apocalyptic environment. It will run for six performances concluding on Saturday August 4th.
The production seeks:
Assistant Director
Stage Manager
Sound Designer
Set/Costume/Production Designer
Time commitment will run from May through the beginning of August; all are part-time jobs with varying hours (SM/AD will likely have the greatest time commitment; set/costume designers likely least). Those willing to fill multiple jobs will be preferred.
Please send your resumes, cover letters, and work samples (if applicable) to both Adam Chisnall at achisnall@gmail.comand to Michael Landes at

Mother’s Day Masquerade Comedy and Fashion Showcase at Edison Valley Playhouse

JBY Mothers Day Flyer 2018

Mothers from all walks of life will be celebrated and honored during a diverse pre-mother’s day event hosted by Just Be You Performing Arts on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the historic Edison Valley Playhouse in Edison, New Jersey from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.. The Second Annual Mother’s Day Masquerade Comedy and Fashion Showcase is an evening packed with live vocal performances, a runway fashion show, and the debut of the organization’s all female stand-up comedy showcase.

Directed and produced by working mom and producer; Mahogany Reynolds-Clarke, the creator of the innovative comedy show, “Cracking Up In Rahway”, emerging female stand-up comedians in New Jersey and New York will put a funny spin on the ups and downs of motherhood. This marks the two year anniversary of the event; which debuted in May 2017 to a sold-out audience, at Hamilton Stage of the Performing Arts in Rahway, New Jersey.

“I am so excited to bring this show to Edison. After gaining much success in Rahway for two years; we realized there was a thirst and a hunger for more diversity, when it came down to stand-up comedy. This year’s show is going to offer something for every kind of mom,” said Reynolds-Clarke, founder and executive director of Just Be You Performing Arts.

Headlining the stand-up comedy showcase is bold and sassy comedian, Vernita Bostick. During last year’s event, Bostick brought down the house with her honest brand of comedy. A full-time educator in New Jersey, Bostick brings a hilarious outlook on working with children. Her fans know her from her work at Carolines Comedy Club, the Women in Comedy festival, and the world famous Apollo theater. She was also recently chosen as a 2018 semi-finalist for the Comedy Wings competition for the American Black Film Festival.

“I think a female comedian is not only important in today’s climate, but at all times. Our voice, our opinions and our viewpoint needs to be heard because there is nothing like a woman’s perspective. I think the mothers who attend will get a much deserved moment of rest; and be able to enjoy the attention and focus on them, while we praise them through our various forms, to thank them for all that they do,” said Bostick.

Making her debut with Just Be You Performing Arts is multi-talented stand-up comedian, Candace Kelley. Many know her from New York. She has performed at the PIT Underground in New York and pen mics. She was also selected to be a featured comedian at the 2018 Black Girls Giggle festival in New Orleans, Louisianna.

“I think when females see other females on stage, it opens doors. It's inspiring in so many ways. The producers have created a show that will also pamper mothers and the undervalued jobs they do,” said Kelley.

Fashion Show

Reynolds-Clarke’s all-inclusive runway show, “The Runway In Rahway” will make it’s debut in Edison, New Jersey during the event. Featuring an array of clothing and accessories from Kat’s Vintage and Chic Boutique of Rahway, New Jersey, owner Kathy Simpson-Givens will showcase a collection of unique one-of-a-kind garments. Making her first appearance in “The Runway In Rahway” fashion show is aspiring couture designer, Aisha Nasa, an 18-year-old intern studying fashion under the guidance of Delores Serecin of Delor Couture. Nasa, of Carteret, New Jersey will debut her collection of Asian culture inspired clothing.

“My line is a combination of the American and Pakistani culture, because I come from a Pakistani background and know about the American culture. I take both perspectives and put them together,” said Nasa.

Six-year-old aspiring fashion designer, Omariya Monroe, of West Harlem, New York, will also make her debut during the event. Reynolds-Clarke invited the gifted young designer to participate in the show because she believes in opening opportunities for artists of all ages. Moms will be moved by the young people participating in the show.

“Moms deserve to be honored, so my student, young vocalist, Adora McDaniel, will sing beautiful tributes to moms. This event has something for every mom. More importantly, we are taking time to honor a group of moms who are often over looked. The foster care and adoptive mom. Those moms need our support as well,” said Reynolds-Clarke.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Opens Its 56th Season with Molière's Masterpiece, Tartuffe


MADISON, NJ —  The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey begins its 56th season with its first Main Stage production, Tartuffe. Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte will direct this masterful French comedy that hasn’t been seen on STNJ’s stage since 2001. Renowned translator Richard Wilbur brings Molière’s witty words to brilliant life for English-speaking audiences. Veteran company member Brent Harris will play the title role and will be joined by STNJ favorites Patrick Toon and Victoria Mack, as well as two-time Tony Award nominee, Vivian Reed. Performances begin May 16. Patrons can purchase tickets at The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre located at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison by calling the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or by going online at

Tartuffe, the consummate con man, hypocrite, and womanizer, meets his match under Molière’s deft pen. A masterpiece of biting social commentary brilliantly enclosed in a swirl of witty verse, outrageous characters, and delightful machinations; the 17th century family featured in this serious comedy will feel very familiar to 21st century Americans.

“This is a season filled with comedy and the wonderful gift of comic relief, which is sorely needed these days. Some of our comedies this season are pure delightful froth and others are deeper, more serious comedies; Molière’s Tartuffe is a combination of both,” said Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte.

The Cast:

Brent Harris begins his seventh season in the title role of Tartuffe. His most recent company credits include last season’s opener The Merchant of Venice, as well as Exit the King, The Guardsman, The Alchemist, and To Kill a Mockingbird, amongst others. Mr. Harris has appeared in the national tours of The Lion King as Scar and The Screwtape Letters as Screwtape.

After appearing in last season’s production of Shakespeare in Love, Patrick Toon returns for his 12th season in the role of Orgon. He has also appeared on The Shakespeare Theatre stage in A Child’s Christmas in Wales, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised), The Diary of Anne Frank, and many more.

Two-time Tony Award nominee Vivian Reed will make her Shakespeare Theatre Main Stage debut in the role of Madame Pernelle. Ms. Reed won a Drama Desk Award for her performance in the Broadway production of Bubbling Brown Sugar. She is also the recipient of a Theatre World Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and NAACP Award, among many others.

Making his STNJ debut is William Sturdivant as Cléante. He has performed regionally in The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, and Henry V with The Acting Company and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, and The Merchant of Venice with The Guthrie Theater. He most recently appeared in New York City in X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation.

Victoria Mack returns for her 10th season as Dorine. Ms. Mack has appeared on the STNJ stage in Red Velvet, The Guardsman, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Pygmalion, and Pride and Prejudice, among many others. Her Broadway credits include Venus in Fur, and she has appeared in a number of television series including Orange is the New Black, Boardwalk Empire, and The Good Wife.

Aaron McDaniel, after appearing in the title role in The Bungler last season, will play Damis for his third season with STNJ. He is a member of Strangemen & Co., appearing in their original work, The Woodsman at New World Stages. Mr. McDaniel has toured the nation with Aquila Theatre and has worked as a fight choreographer for many productions including Newsies! The Musical and Aladdin.

In her first season with The Shakespeare Theatre, Sarah Nicole Deaver will play Mariane. She recently appeared Off Broadway in The Suitcase Under the Bed at Mint Theater. Regional credits include Hartford Stage and Baltimore Center Stage, and she has appeared on TV in Law & Order: SVU and The Last OG.

Drew Dix will play Monsieur Loyal for his fourth season with The Shakespeare Theatre. His company credits include The Bungler, Henry IV, Part One, and Man of La Mancha. He has performed regionally with the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Luna Stage, 78th Street Theatre Lab, and Firebone Theater.

Caroline Kinsolving will make her Shakespeare Theatre debut in the role of Elmire. She has performed regionally with Playwrights Horizons, The Old Globe, and San Diego Repertory Theatre, and she has appeared on TV in Medium, Criminal Minds, and Satisfaction.

Rounding out the cast are newcomers Garrett Gray and Mark Hawkins.

The Director:

Bonnie J. Monte is in her 28th season with The Shakespeare Theatre and serves as the Artistic Director; under her leadership, the Theatre has evolved into one of the most respected classical companies in the nation. She has directed over 60 acclaimed productions for the company during her tenure, most recently directing last season’s Shakespeare in Love and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Creative Team:

Tartuffe’s visual landscape will be brought to life by the creative talents of Scenic Designer Brittany Vasta, Lighting Designer Matthew Weisgable, and Costume Designer Nikki Delhomme. Ms. Monte will also sound design. The Production Stage Manager is Jackie Mariani.


Single tickets for Tartuffe begin at $29 for preview performances and begin at $49 for regular performances. Prices range from $29 to $69. The Theatre is proud to bring back its successful 30 UNDER 30 program for the 2018 season. Patrons aged 30 and under can purchase tickets for only $30 with a valid ID, subject to availability. For tickets, patrons can call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or visit

Auditions: ‘James and the Giant Peach, Jr’ at Brundage Park


Upcoming Audition - James and the Giant Peach, Jr.
Brundage Park Playhouse is pleased to announce its second audition notice for its upcoming show James and The Giant Peach, Jr.
Auditions are Saturday, May 5 at 2-4 pm and Sunday, May 6 at 2-4 pm at the playhouse on Carrell Road in Randolph, NJ. Auditioners Age 12 – 18 will be asked to sing acapella and read from sides, which will be provided. Please bring a headshot and resume to the audition. If you do not have a headshot, a photo will be taken at the audition.
Performance Dates: July 6, 13 and 20 at 8:00 pm and July 7, 8, 14, 15 and 21 at 2:00 pm
With a wickedly fun score by the TONY Award-nominated pair of Pasek and Paul and a creative, quirky book by Timothy Allen McDonald, James and The Giant Peach, Jr. is one of our For Kids By Kids productions. It’s summertime fun for the whole family.
List of Roles:
Ladahlord – Charismatic, Mysterious Guide. Male. Vocal Range: Gb5 – G3
James – On a quest to find a family of his own. Vocal Range: E5 – G#3
Ladybug- Regal demeanor, Feels maternal towards James. Female. Vocal Range: D5-A3
Grasshopper- Warm, inviting presence. Takes a paternal interest in James. Range: F#5- A3
Spider – Clever, fun-loving older sister to James. Female. Range C5-B3
Earthworm – Gentle spirit, can be a bit of a coward. Male. Range A5-B3
Centipede- Grouchy, but loyal to the pack. Male. Range F#5 – G3
Spiker – Female. Spiker is the brains of the team. Range E5 – F3
Sponge – Concerned with finding something to eat. Range E5 – F3
Matron Nurse – Runs the Painswick Orphanage. In need of a vacation.
Zoo Crowd: Mr. Trotter, Mrs. Trotter, Kari Kretour. Featured Roles.
Passing Man – Cameo Role
Man (with wallet) – Cameo Role
Billy Bobby-Cop – Cameo Role
Bobby Bobby-Cop – Cameo Role
Vagrants: Doreen Driggles, Violet Funkschmeller, Ridgley Rapscallion, Chris Cryermouth
Ida Walters – Reporter
Bitsy Botana – Garden Guild Member
Buzz – Hollywood Agent
Willy Wonka – Cameo Role
New Yorkers: Screaming Woman, Jake, Joe, Lucille Van Kooglestein, Bunny Mackenzie the 3rd
For further information please contact Brundage Park Playhouse at (973) 989-7092
or visit

Auditions: Bernards Township’s Plays in the Park

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Auditions for Trilogy Repertory’s summer production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid for Bernards Township’s Plays in the Park will be held at the Bernards Township Community Center, 289 South Maple Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ, on April  29 (ages 10 - 15: 6 pm - 7:30 pm;  ages 16 and above: 7:30 pm) and May 2 from 7:30 pm - 9 pm,

10505311_744533352275845_3222691254500978493_nCome prepared to sing 16 bars of uptempo rock, pop, or musical theater.  Also be prepared to dance and to read from the script. Performance dates for the musical are July 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28, at 8 pm, in the outdoor amphitheater at Pleasant Valley Park in Basking Ridge.  Jaye Barre will direct, and Lorrie Lane will serve as Executive Producer. Contact or 908-217-2714 for additional information and schedule conflicts.   Visit and scroll to the bottom to download and fill out the Trilogy Repertory Casting Sheet to bring with you to auditions.

Directions for the Bernards Township Community Center may be found at:

‘Calendar Girls’ at Somerset Valley Players


WHAT: Somerset Valley Players Next Production Is “Calendar Girls” Based on True Story of Housewives Pin Ups

WHERE: 689 Amwell Road (Route 514) Hillsborough, NJ 08844

The next production of the Somerset Valley Players, Hillsborough’s award-winning, nonprofit community theatre, is the comedy Calendar Girls, opening on Friday, April 20.

cgflowerDirected by Darren Nye, Calendar Girls is based on the true story of small town British housewives who posed naked for a pin up calendar to raise money to support families of cancer patients. In the process, they became international media sensations. The play, written by Tim Firth, is an adaptation of the 2003 hit film of the same name.

Produced by Michael A. Muller, stage managed by CJ Miller, the show is sponsored by the Robert W. Pittenger Family.


Calendar Girls runs April 20 – May 6, at the Somerset Valley Players theater on 689 Amwell Road (Rout 514) in Hillsborough. The theater is air conditioned, barrier free and wheelchair accessible.

For tickets and show times go to

Final Weekend for Centenary Stage Company’s World Premier of ‘Hitler’s Tasters’

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“The four actresses in it are sensational!” – Peter Filichia, Broadway Radio

                Centenary Stage Company’s World Premier of Michelle Kholos Brooks’ Hitler’s Tasters wraps up its critically acclaimed run in the Lackland Performing Arts Center this weekend with performances Wednesday through Sunday. Audiences and critics alike have fallen in love. “Making this world premiere particularly special are the performances of the four young women. Director Sarah Norris has cast a group of remarkably talented women… it is easy to fall in love with these impressive young women and the unique story.” (Rick Busciglio,

The four are Brianna Morris, Jennifer Robbins, Emaline Williams.
and Ally Borgstrom,

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Photo: L-R Ally Borgstrom, Emaline Williams and Jennifer Robbins.

                Inspired by a true story, imagine knowing that every mouthful of food you ate could be your last. Such was the life for the young women charged with the task of tasting Hitler’s food so that he would not be poisoned. “All four actresses are excellent”, says Jane Primerano on NJ Arts Maven. Winner of the 2017 Susan Glaspell Award, Michelle Kholos Brooks’ Hitler’s Tasters is an alternately engaging and compelling play tells the story of the young women who three times day, every day, were “honored” with the opportunity “to die for their Führer”. But while they wait, like all girls throughout time, they gossip, they dream, they question and dance, until the door opens and the guard appears with each meal. 

                Michelle Kholos Brooks’ Hitler’s Tasters final performances are now through Aprill 22 in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.  Remaining performances are Wednesday, April 18 at 2PM; Thursday, April 19 at 7:30PM; Friday, April 20 at 8PM; Saturday, April 21 at 8PM and Sunday, April 22 at 2PM. Tickets are $27.50 for adults on Friday evening & matinee performances.  Saturday evening’s performance are $29.50 for adults.  Thursday evening’s performance are $27.50 for ALL SEATS with a buy one/get one rush ticket special when purchased in person at the Centenary Stage Company box office beginning at 5:30PM. Discounts are available for students.